CHARLESTON – Several changes are in store for voters during the 2016 election process in West Virginia.
For the first time in history, the state’s voters will select their judges during next May’s primary election without any signs of political party affiliations on the ballots.
Local representatives of the Mingo County Clerk’s office attended a conference that was hosted by West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Charleston earlier this week. County Clerk “Big” Jim Hatfield, and two of his clerks, Judy Harvey and Shennie Ferguson, attended the seminar.
Hatfield said the conference was informative for him and his staff.
Harvey says that there were a lot of questions asked by clerks from several counties about the upcoming changes with some of the election process.
The new state law allowing for nonpartisan judicial elections officially took effect in June. The change will apply to elections, by division, for the state Supreme Court along with circuit court, family court and magistrate court.
For example, Mingo County’s magisterial candidates will now have a choice to run in one of three divisions. The top vote getter in each division will win one of the three magistrate seats.
The conference in Charleston allowed local election officials from across West Virginia to discuss the changes and plan for the next elections in 2016.
The circuit judge and family court judge candidates will now file on the state level.
This will be a big year for elections as both the presidential and state gubernatorial candidates will be on the ballot. West Virginia’s primary election will be held on Tuesday, May 10, 2016.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)